CANYON COUNTY - Wednesday marks one month since 21 families in a Canyon County neighborhood were flooded out of their homes.
It happened after Midway Road collapsed into an underground culvert, sending thousands of gallons of irrigation water into nearby homes.
Canyon Highway District No. 4 is responsible for Midway Road and held a meeting Tuesday night for those impacted.
This past month has been awful for these people: their homes are completely unlivable and many of them are living in campers or tents in their yards.
Now some residents are breathing a small sigh of relief - and feeling a little weight lifted off their chest.
That's because highway district officials told them Tuesday night that their Board of Commissioners approved emergency funds to help foot the bill. Officials tell KTVB no cap has been set on those funds.
It was announced that starting Friday morning, assessors with the highway district are going to come through the neighborhood and inspect all the homes with damage. Then, they will evaluate the cost of mitigation and immediate restoration to make the homes livable again. They will then prepare a flood damage estimate. In a letter to the residents of the Burnie Subdivision, Canyon Highway District No. 4 Commissioners wrote: "Damage estimates and emergency funds will be focused and limited to the restoration of walls, floors, plumping, electrical, well/septic and heating systems. Emergency funds may also be used to restore kitchen functionality and to compensate for emergency demolition conducted to date."
If affected homeowners agree to this, they'll be asked to sign an agreement stating those funds will be used to pay a contractor or other vendor to make the repairs identified in the flood damage assessment.
After Tuesday's meeting, people had mixed reactions. But for the most part, they say it's promising, and are relieved that help is coming and that the highway district is planning to help out.
"I kind of didn't want to expect too much, and with what these guys are offering, I can't be happier," impacted resident Steve Fickes said.
"No resolution and a long time before there is one," another resident, who had 23 inches of flooding in her home, Becky Hayden, told KTVB. "It's never going to be the same for any of us because of the property losses, the personal properties, the memories, the photos, the things that can't be replaced are lost forever."
Highway district officials say they are trying to expedite this process before winter - because that could pose a whole other set of problems.
So this is money going into their hands as soon as possible to help with their most dire needs.
In addition to the emergency funds, we're told affected homeowners are also filing claims with the state insurance agency - Idaho Counties Risk Management. This is separate from the emergency declaration.
However, the maximum payout is only $500,000 for all the 21 homeowners to split. So that's something residents are still concerned about because that won't be nearly enough to cover all of their individual expenses.
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